Where do I even begin with this movie?
I’d heard it called “the worst movie ever made,” but this fails to capture everything horrible about director (and writer, and producer, and star) Tommy Wiseau’s work. Perhaps some numbers will help: Wiseau spent $6 million to create this disaster, while collecting only $1800 in ticket sales, as it played in a few select theaters in California when it was released in 2003. The man behind this blasphemy is as bizzare as his movie, keeping so quiet about his personal life that no one is sure of his birthplace beyond that it is somewhere in Europe. After he immigrated to the United States, he worked his way up from bus boy to movie star, becoming independently wealthy by unclear means. Since The Room, he has landed a few roles in television and film, not to mention receiving some sort of praise from James Franco’s 2017 movie The Disaster Artist, in which James and his brother play Wiseau and friend/colleague/costar Greg Sistero, telling the story of The Room’s disastrous making.
Basically, this movie was a meme before modern memes existed. The actors perform expressionlessly, their voices flatly reciting a poorly-written script. Scenes fail to fit together in any continuous, logical manner, creating unrelated and unfinished plotlines. The opening music is somewhere between the background to an old anime, a made-for-tv movie, and a documentary about King Arthur. Where there is dialouge, there is often no background noise at all, creating an unsettling feeling for the viewer. There is so much wrong with the layout and execution of this movie it would be possible to go on about it for several eternities; the whole thing is simply bizarre.
In my eyes, Wiseau is very earnestly aspiring to something that isn’t worth aspiring to; he strives to imitate the worst facet of American film, throwing together a love triangle, a splash of ganster violence, sex scenes, cancer drama, a near-fatal football-related accident, a suprise party, state-of-the-art recording equipment, an ending that is the exact opposite of an unexpected twist…etcetera, etcetera. All of this comes together to form what is for the most part an especially awful Lifetime movie. And yet, I and millions of others around the world somehow love this movie. Given the distorted sense of humor the Internet has cultivated in us all, had The Room been made in 2018, I could see it being quite a success. In fact, it has become more successful since its release, playing periodically in theaters everywhere. Wiseau himself has attended some of these events, given to arriving via limosine and sitting in the front row. His immortal confidence in his work is truly something every artist should aspire to.
Tommy Wiseau has a website! If you’re interested in purchasing The Room merchandise or some of his self-designed underwear, he’s put almost everything on sale for the holiday season. One of his jackets (with a free copy of The Room and a “dogeee” stuffed animal) would make a great gift for your grandmother, perhaps. And if you haven’t yet seen this work of art, I urge you to find a showing in a theater near you!